Windies dealt knockout blow
India and New Zealand booked a semi-final clash against each other after registering thrilling wins in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Super League quarter-finals on Monday.
India held on to clinch an enthralling one-wicket win against rivals Pakistan, while New Zealand snatched a win from the jaws of defeat over an in-form West Indies at Endeavour Park.
At the Tony Ireland Stadium, India and Pakistan, played out a typically tense match.
India lost wickets at regular intervals in its chase of Pakistan’s total of 136. In the end, India’s last pair of Harmeet Singh and Sandeep Sharma held their nerves to help their team across the line with one wicket to spare.
New Zealand needed 18 off the last over for a win to overhaul West Indies’ 237. New Zealand's Ish Sodhi hit 12 off the last three balls, with a boundary off the last delivery, to lead his side to a win by three wickets against West Indies.
Chasing the West Indies total of 237, New Zealand looked set to dip out of contention for the semi-finals when it reached the 40th over with 89 runs to get from 60 balls.
But crucially, at 149 for four, New Zealand had wickets in hand, with a set batsman, Robert O’Donnell, and a stroke-maker in the form of wicket-keeper Chad Fletcher.
When O’Donnell was dismissed for 42 (83b, 2x4) in the 42nd over, all-rounder Connor Neynens joined Fletcher and it was that pair that delivered in overs 45 and 46 with 15 and 14 runs plundered off the bowling of Jerome Jones and Kyle Mayers respectively.
Neynens fell for 25 (18b, 4x4) in the 47th over with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi picking up from where he left off.
Fletcher was dismissed for 49 (72b, 4x4) in the second last over, with 18 needed from the final over.
The India-born Sodhi displayed nerves of steel to hammer a four of the first ball, a six off the fourth ball and a four off the last ball delivered by right-arm paceman Justin Greaves. Player of the Match Sodhi, who picked up two for 36 from 10 overs in the West Indies innings, finished 22 not out (10b, 2x4, 1x6).
The West Indies had half centuries from skipper Kraigg Brathwaite (53: 97b, 2x4) and Akeal Hosein (54: 70b, 4x4) but in hindsight will regret not getting more runs on the board and will also rue its death bowling performance that allowed New Zealand to pinch the result.
A jubilant New Zealand captain Will Young said the final overs had been “almost surreal”.
“We will remember that all of our lives,’’ he said. “That was something special. Probably the most pleasing aspect was the fact it was a full team performance – we did some great work in the field and pulled together with the bat when we had.”
Young, who batted in a top order partnership with top scorer Ben Horne (59, 71b, 6x4, 2x6), said his side had thought they were in with a chance when they got to the final 10 overs.